Daily Mail correction after calling Anna Ford a ‘Trotskyite’ for backing Corbyn

Outbreak of Stalinism in the Mail results in amusing 'clarification'

Anna Ford Trotsky


The Daily Mail has run a correction after calling journalist Anna Ford a ‘Trotskyite’ over her support for Jeremy Corbyn in Labour’s leadership race.

Today’s correction reads:

“A comment article on September 3 described Anna Ford as a ‘Trotskyite’. Ms Ford has asked us to clarify that she has never been an admirer of Trotsky, nor of the Communist Party nor its philosophy. We are happy to set the record straight.”

Anna Ford Trotsky Mail 15 9 15

No explanation was given for why Ms Ford was described in this way.

‘Trotskyite’ is a term of abuse used against people with hard Left politics, particularly admirers of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

The term became a swearword after the split between Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, when it was used to mean ‘traitor’ inside Soviet Russia to stifle dissent.

Today, use of the term (over the less insulting ‘Trotskyist’) is largely confined to right-wing newspapers – and supporters of the Stalin’s politics.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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6 Responses to “Daily Mail correction after calling Anna Ford a ‘Trotskyite’ for backing Corbyn”

  1. Patrick O'neill

    untill we insist that a newspaper devotes the same space to the apology as it did to the slur/lie they wont change

  2. Jim Denham

    A Daily Mail columnist writes (to the Graun):

    Your subheading “The Tory Firebrand was once a Trotskyite…” (Owen Jones, 9 September) suggests that I am a supporter of the Tory party. Actually, as Jones accurately explained in his article, I have spent the last eight years or so campaigning unsuccessfully for the destruction of that ghastly organisation. Also, it’s a sad day when the Guardian, of all newspapers, no longer knows the difference between “Trotskyite” (a Stalinist term of abuse) and “Trotskyist” (a technical description).
    Peter Hitchens

  3. stevep


  4. Cole

    How many of us did know – or cared about -the difference between Trotskyite and Trotskyist? They’re generally just known as Trots – and seem to be making a comeback after years of obscurity.

  5. Daniel Thomson

    People who call others “Trots” often don’t even understand what it actually means. I argue for a mixed econonmy and believe in democracy yet I have often been called a “Trot”.

  6. Tony O'Malley

    I hope this incident and all similar ones, was referred to the Press Complaints body.

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